The Board of Directors of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) unanimously approved the merger between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) in principle at its board meeting in September 21, 2 021.
SPNI will also inject growth capital into SPNI as part of the merger, giving it a total value of $1.575 billion at the close, which it can utilize to pursue further growth opportunities.
Zee stated in a statement that its board of directors considered the combination not only on financial grounds but also on the strategic value Sony brings to the table. The board came to the conclusion that the combination would benefit all shareholders and stakeholders.
The merger is in accordance with ZEEL's plan to become a premier media and entertainment firm in South Asia, with stronger growth and profitability. The board of directors has given permission to ZEEL's management to begin the requisite due diligence process.
Sony Pictures' shareholders will own a controlling stake in the amalgamated company. They will also inject growth capital into SPNI as part of the deal, giving it a total value of $1.575 billion at completion, which will be used to pursue future growth possibilities.
Punit Goenka will continue to be the amalgamated entity's managing director and CEO as part of the deal. In addition, the promoters of ZEEL and SPNI will come to an agreement on specific non-compete agreements.
According to the term sheet, the promoter family is permitted to expand its shareholding from the present 4% to up to 20%, as long as it complies with applicable law. The Sony Group will nominate a majority of the board members of the amalgamated organization.
The final deal is expected to be subject to standard due diligence, the execution of definitive agreements, and the applicable corporate, regulatory, and third-party approvals, including shareholder votes.
SPNI's success across entertainment genres (including gaming and sports), combined with ZEEL's strong expertise in content creation and deep consumer connect established over the last three decades, will add significant value to the merged entity and its management team, thereby increasing shareholder value multifold.